Rest day

Rest day

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The Great Britain Cycling Team nutritionists give you the recipes to fuel your cycling lifestyle. In this article they suggests some recipes for rest and recovery days that will keep you full, avoid over-eating and enhance your recovery.


If you are on a recovery or rest day, chances are you did a big ride or a hard workout yesterday. If you followed an appropriate big ride day nutritional strategy, recovered optimally and ate well after the ride, you shouldn’t need to be playing catch-up today. Breakfast can be fairly light, there is no need for huge amounts of carbohydrates if you aren’t riding, but you should give your body some protein.

Breakfast options:


Smoothies are a fast and convenient breakfast option. You can increase the protein content by adding protein powder. You can use any fruit or vegetables, whatever you have in the cupboard or even frozen berries.

Egg Muffins

If you feel you need a more substantial breakfast, this is an excellent high protein option that will also give you some Omega 3 fatty acids to enhance recovery. This is also a good choice for lunch.

Don’t forget to snack

A mid-morning snack is important on a rest day to prevent your blood sugar level dipping and you being tempted to reach for sugary snacks, such as biscuits. Nuts, seeds, orchard fruits and natural yoghurt are all good choices. You should also have a similar snack mid-afternoon.


Having had a decent breakfast and a mid-morning snack, there is no need for a big lunch. Soup is a really good option as, along with being warming and filling, it also helps to ensure you keep well hydrated. Preparing fresh soup can be a bit of a hassle so, make a big batch at the weekend, divide into individual portions and freeze them. Organisation and pre-preparation are two of the foundations of good nutrition.

Soup options:

Pea and ham soup

Lower in carbohydrates, serve on its own during rest or recovery days or, if you are riding, you could serve it with some bread or pitta bread.

Carrot and Ginger soup

Enjoy this easy to make and low fat, warming soup during the winter months.

Evening meal

When deciding what to eat for dinner, you need to consider what your riding plans are for the next day. Having had a rest day, if you have got a big ride starting early tomorrow, you need to make sure you have adequate carbohydrates in your system, but don’t need to go mad on them. Avoid high fat, heavy protein such as red meat, large amounts of spicing   and excessive fibre. You might want to keep it really simple and opt for something like grilled chicken, rice and some salad, a bit boring but a safe bet. Alternatively, try one of these two recipes.

Lamb and Chickpea Curry

Bursting with flavour, this curry recipe provides a hearty meal to fill you up and leave some tasty leftovers.

Chilli Con Carne

Chilli is perfect after a long cold winter ride, warming you up and delivering a good amount of protein to aid recovery.


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